Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Mr Obama has said the US is prepared to extend a hand of peace to Iran if it 'unclenched its fist'.
Mr Obama has said the US is prepared to extend a hand of peace to Iran if it "unclenched its fist".
Mr Obama has said the US is prepared to extend a hand of peace to Iran if it 'unclenched its fist'.

Obama extends Iran sanctions

The US president will extend sanctions against Iran, saying it continues to pose an 'extraordinary threat' to security.

WASHINGTON // The US president, Barack Obama, said he will extend sanctions against Iran as it continues to pose an "extraordinary threat" to the national security, foreign policy and economy of the United States. Mr Obama declared the routine extension of economic sanctions imposed by former US president, Bill Clinton, in March 1995 in a public notice. "I am continuing for one year the national emergency with respect to Iran," he said.

In a change of policy from the Bush administration, Mr Obama has said he would be open to engaging with Iran on a range of issues, from its nuclear ambitions to how it could help in Afghanistan, where Nato-led forces are struggling against a worsening insurgency. The Obama administration intends to invite Tehran to an international conference on Afghanistan, which borders Iran, planned for this month. Iran has said it is prepared to consider the invitation.

The US, however, is still at loggerheads with Iran over its nuclear programme, which Washington says is aimed at building atomic weapons, while Tehran insists it is for the peaceful generation of electricity. The US cut off diplomatic ties with Iran during the 1979-81 hostage crisis, in which a group of militant Iranian students held 52 US diplomats hostage at the American embassy for 444 days. Mr Obama has said the US is prepared to extend a hand of peace to Iran if it "unclenched its fist". The Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has said he is open to talks with Washington but has demanded a fundamental change to US policy in the Middle East.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 The Doha-based Youssef Al Qaradawi speaks to the crowd as he leads Friday prayers in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt in February, 2011. The outspoken pro-Muslim Brotherhood imam has been critical of the UAE’s policies toward Islamist groups, adding to friction between Qatar and other GCC states. Khalil Hamra / AP Photo

Brotherhood imam skips Doha sermon, but more needed for GCC to reconcile

That Youssef Al Qaradawi did not speak raises hopes that the spat involving Qatar and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain might be slowly moving towards a resolution.

 Twitter photo of  Abdel Fattah El Sisi on the campaign trail on March 30. Photo courtesy-Twitter/@SisiCampaign

El Sisi rides a bicycle, kicks off social media storm

The photos and video created a huge buzz across social media networks, possibly a marker of a new era for Egypt.

 An Afghan election commission worker carries a ballot box at a vote counting centre in Jalalabad on April 6. A roadside bomb hit a truck carrying full ballot boxes in northern Afghanistan, killing three people a day after the country voted for a successor to President Hamid Karzai. Eight boxes of votes were destroyed in the blast, which came as the three leading candidates voiced concerns about possible fraud. Noorullah Shirzada / AFP Photo

Two pressing questions for Afghanistan’s future president

Once in office, the next Afghan president must move fast to address important questions that will decide the immediate future of the country.

 Friday is UN Mine Awareness Day and Omer Hassan, who does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan, is doing all he can to teach people about the dangers posed by landmines. Louise Redvers for The National

A landmine nearly ended Omer’s life but he now works to end the threat of mines in Iraq

Omer Hassan does demining work in Iraqi Kurdistan and only has to show people his mangled leg to underscore the danger of mines. With the world marking UN Mine Awareness Day on Friday, his work is as important as ever as Iraq is one of the most mine-affected countries in the world.

 Supporters of Turkey's ruling AKP cheer as they follow the election's results in front of the party's headquarters in Ankara on March 30. Adem Altan/ AFP Photo

Erdogan critic fears retaliation if he returns to Turkey

Emre Uslu is a staunch critic of Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now, with a mass crackdown on opposition expected, he is unsure when he can return home.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National